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The ‘Linea Tesa’ design by Carrozzeria Boneschi

The origin

At the turn of the 60s, Carrozzeria Boneschi, together with the designer Rodolfo Bonetto, gave life to a stylistic movement called “Linea Tesa”. As the name suggests, this design style features knife edged lines and clean cuts, in contrast with the trends of the time. This bravery shown by Carrozzeria Boneschi was not rewarded by success, but it was somehow a precursor of the 70s and 80s style.

Rodolfo Bonetto

Rodolfo Bonetto, a high school student, abandoned his career as a jazz drummer to devote himself to design. This passion for him was manifested thanks to his paternal uncle Felice Bonetto, a famous racing driver of the early fifties, who introduced him to the motor world, and so the young Bonetto, began to draw sketches of cars.

Self-taught, he began as a design consultant at Pininfarina where he worked from 1951 to 1957, and his activity as a designer began in 1958, when he founded his own design studio in Milan. It was with Carrozzeria Boneschi that Bonetto was able to express himself at his best in the automotive field, in which he gave life, indeed, to the design trend “Linea Tesa”. As we will see, numerous models have been born from this collaboration.

During his long career as a designer he created projects in the most diverse fields of industrial mass production: household appliances, car bodies, sanitary ware, machine tools, electronic devices, musical instruments, televisions, suitcases, hi-fi systems, furniture and appliances for lighting.

Bonetto taught industrial design at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm from 1961 to 1965, and at the ISIA in Rome from 1974 to 1979. He held the positions of president of ADI from 1971 to 1973, and of ICSID from 1981 to 1983, associations of which he was a member of.

Rodolfo Bonetto designed about 1000 products including the interiors of the Fiat 131 Supermirafiori, Tipo, Croma, Y10, Punto.

He was awarded 8 Compassi d’Oro, the last of which shortly after his death in 1991, as a tribute to his thirty-year career. Since then, his design studio has been directed by his only son, Marco Bonetto, who further expands the design activity also in the automotive sector.

1958 Innocenti Goggomobil Weekend

Proposal for a small “Giardinetta” on Goggomobil chassis. Rear view with subtle overseas-inspired “fins” accents. With this model, Carrozzeria Boneschi with the designer Bonetto, gave life to the “Linea Tesa” style.

1960 Fiat 1500 Spider

The collaboration with the designer Bonetto continued with this one-off based on the Fiat 1500. Presented in 1960, Bonetto designed a spider with eccentric lines, with a full-grille front and “suspended” headlights.

1960 Fiat 2100 Coupé

After the Fiat 1500, Carrozzeria Boneschi presented a berlinetta based on the Fiat 2100 chassis. The elements already seen on the Spider, such as the suspended headlights and jutting out front line are also present. One-off.

1961 Lancia Flaminia Amalfi

Perhaps the most representative model of the “Linea Tesa” style. The Lancia Flaminia Amalfi was built on chassis 824.04 originally destined for the Touring coachbuilder. Cream color paint with a red lower band matching the interior.

1961 Alfa Romeo 2000 Sprint Coupé

The Linea Tesa was also applied to a Alfa Romeo chassis. Unveiled at the 1961 Turin Motor Show, this one-off built on a 2000 Sprint chassis features very eye-catching chrome elements.

1961 O.S.C.A. 1600 GT Swift

Carrozzeria Boneschi has tried its hand with the Linea Tesa style also on sports Coupe, in this  case based on the O.S.C.A. chassis. Although less evident, the stylistic elements are still present, especially in the front. A 2nd version with different headlight was also made.

1962 Maserati 3500 GT Tight

Representation of the “Linea Tesa” style on a Maserati chassis. Presented at the Turin Motor Show in 1962, and then re-exhibited the following year at the Geneva Motor Show with slight modifications. It did not receive great response from the public and the press due to its square lines.

1963 Ford Fairlane

Proposal of the Linea Tesa on an American chassis. On this Ford Fairlane, the squared lines are less evident, sign of the evolution of the styling of the designer Bonetto and its Linea Tesa.

1963 Alfa Romeo 2600 Cabriolet Studionove

Named Studio 9 (ninth project of the Linea Tesa style), this one-off based on a Alfa Romeo 2600 does not feature the classic Alfa scudetto shield, the sharp cuts seen in previous models slightly disappeared and became smoother.

1964 Fiat 850 Spider Daino

One-off presented at the Turin Motor Show in 1964 based on Fiat 850. Proposal for a possible small series production.

1964 Fiat 2300 S Spider

First proposal on a Fiat 2300 S base by Carrozzeria Boneschi. This Spider has a jutting out tail already seen on previous “Linea Tesa” models.

1964 Fiat 2300 S Coupé Gazzella

Second proposal based on Fiat 2300 S, this time a Coupe bearing the name of a “historic” model (Gazzella) from Carrozzeria Boneschi. One-off.

1964 Ford Prototype

Carrozzeria Boneschi concluded the “Linea Tesa” experiment with this prototype on a Ford chassis that vaguely recalls the 60s prototypes developed by Carrozzeria Ghia for Renault.

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